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Set the right mood for your brand with our guide to colour palettes

Colour is a powerful tool for setting the mood; it’s found all around us but often goes unnoticed

For example, colour is used to set a romantic ambience in a restaurant, brightly coloured clothing in the summer makes you feel more alert and happy or you may feel relaxed when viewing an ad for a spa which was designed using soft calming pastel colours. We would like to help you get a better understanding of colour moods and how to be conscious of the mood you want to set when creating colour palettes for your design.

Firstly, no matter what you are designing you’ll want to create the right mood that suits your brand and the message you are trying to convey. We suggest you start off by thinking of your message. Who do you want it to appeal to? What kind of emotion would you like it to project on the viewer?

Here are some examples of designs which set a clean mood:

Clean Mood Digital Advertising Examples from Fluid Ads

Colour meanings
If you’re not sure which colour reflects which emotion here are some examples of emotion association with colour in Western cultures, please note that colours are perceived differently in different cultures around the world.

  • Red promotes: power, importance, youth
  • Orange promotes: friendliness, energy, uniqueness
  • Yellow promotes: happiness, enthusiasm, antiquity (darker shades)
  • Green promotes: growth, stability, financial themes, environmental themes
  • Blue promotes: calm, safety, openness (lighter shades), reliability (darker shades)
  • Purple promotes: luxury, romance (lighter shades), mystery (darker shades)
  • Black promotes: power, edginess, sophistication
  • White promotes: cleanliness, virtue, simplicity
  • Gray promotes: neutrality, formality, melancholy
  • Beige promotes: traits of surrounding colours
  • Ivory promotes: comfort, elegance, simplicity

Source: The Next Web

Understanding the emotions colours conjure up is useful but that is only the first step. In design, it is not usually just about a single colour but about a palette with a range of colours. Individual colours can represent a certain mood but when used together, can create an entirely different one. When looking at colour palette options or putting together a colour scheme for your design, think about the over-all palette.

 

Colour matching with images
When creating a design there are two kinds of colours you need to take into consideration, the colour palette you are choosing for your design and the colours in your images. Many people tend to forget about the colours in their images and how drastically they can affect their design. We often come across beautiful laid-out designs with a perfectly balanced colour scheme but then, they are entirely thrown off by the colours in their images.

We understand you may not all be Photoshop wizards and you don’t need to be. All you need to do is think of your image and colour palette simultaneously. If you have the option of using stock imagery in your design, try to pick an image that matches your colour palette and is in-keeping with the mood of your design. If you need to use a client’s image in your artwork this can be a little more challenging. In this case it may help to drop the image into your layout first and pick some key colours from your image and use them throughout your layout to colour match.

Here are some great examples of colour palettes matching their imagery:

Here are some colour palette examples and the moods they set

Source: Design Seeds

Here are some of our examples of colour palettes and matching imagery in ads:

Understanding how to set the right mood for your design simply comes down to three key points:

  1. Using colours which reflects the emotion which suits your brand.
  2. Picking a colour palette which sets the mood of the message you would like to convey.
  3. Colour matching your images to complete the right mood setting.

 

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